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August 31, 2023

Washington Monthly names UCR No. 7 in Pell Grant measure

In the magazine's 2023 college rankings, UCR climbed six positions among public universities

Author: J.D. Warren
August 31, 2023

Washington Monthly magazine has ranked UC Riverside No. 7 among 442 universities nationwide in its Pell Grant student performance.

The accolade, released this week as part of Washington Monthly’s 2023 college rankings, notes UCR’s performance in several categories. Those include: 

•    UCR is among the top 20 universities in the number of Pell Grant recipients it graduates, with 2,403, according to the federal data on which Washington Monthly’s list relies. 

•    UCR tied for fifth in the nation in a measure that compared the potential pool of Pell Grant-eligible students vs. how many a university enrolled. That potential pool considers the geographic area from which students typically enroll.

The Pell Grant is the largest federal grant program offered to undergraduates and is typically awarded to students from households earning less than $65,000 per year.

The Pell Grant accolade follows a March report in which The Chronicle of Higher Education ranked UCR No. 1 in the nation for retention rates among universities with at least-50% Pell undergraduates.

In the 2023 Washington Monthly rankings, UCR was No. 33 among public universities, up six positions from 2022. UCR’s overall Washington Monthly ranking among 442 private and public universities is No. 64, up from No. 69 in 2022.

Washington Monthly’s methodology is based on rankings for social mobility, research, and community and national service. The source of Washington Monthly's data is the National Center for Education Statistics' Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System.

“Rather than laud the universities that mostly cater to the sons and daughters of the wealthy, we reward those that welcome students from everyday and low-income backgrounds and help them to graduate on time, with good jobs and low debt,” Washington Monthly Editor Rob Wolfe wrote in the introduction to this year’s rankings.

But Washington Monthly’s highest rankings still favor the Ivies, with 2023’s top five virtually unchanged from 2022. They include, in order, Harvard, Stanford, MIT, University of Pennsylvania, and Princeton.

In Washington Monthly’s complementary “Best Bang for the Buck Rankings,” also released this week, UCR was No. 40 among 210 four-year universities ranked in the West, just behind UC Berkeley.

The U.S. News & World Report 2023 college rankings are set for release in about two weeks. For four consecutive years, U.S. News has ranked UCR the No. 1 public university in the nation for social mobility.

Also this week, UCR was ranked No. 31 among public universities in the U.S. by Forbes magazine. And recently, UCR was ranked No. 23 in the Princeton Review’s list of Top 50 Best Value Colleges and No. 20 for Top 20 Best Schools for Making an Impact among public schools. 

The full 2023 Washington Monthly rankings report is available online .

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